De Souza Moves to World No. 2
Oakley’s Adriano de Souza was runner-up at the 2009 Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro.`
With the support of Brazil evident in the thousands on the beach, De Souza wasted no time in putting the Floridian on the ropes in their Final, collecting a 6.67 and an 8.00 in the opening half. However, despite an impressive opening, Slater would ultimately eclipse De Souza throughout the back half of the affair, rendering the Brazilian with his second Runner-Up finish of 2009.
“I felt like I peaked in the Final,” De Souza said. “I don’t think I could have surfed any better. I thought I had him (Slater), but he’s the nine-time world champ, and you have to be perfect to beat him. I’m still very happy with my Runner-Up finish. It is my second of the year and puts me in a really good position heading into the next event.”
Friday’s finish advances De Souza from ASP World No. 5 to ASP World No. 2 heading into the next stop on the ASP Dream Tour, rendering the former ASP World Junior Champion (2004) a major threat in the race for this year’s ASP World Title.
“It is a huge deal for me to represent my country so well here today,” De Souza said. “I could feel them supporting me on the beach every time I stood up. It was an amazing feeling. I felt strong and confident and I think I made Brazil proud with my performance today.”
Having failed to advance out of Round 3 at the Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro in several years of attempts (first as a wild card, then as an ASP World Tour competitor), De Souza’s runner-up finish marks the first time a Brazilian has made the final since 2005.
“When I was a little kid I used to come to the event and dream of competing here,” De Souza said. “To be here today, in front of all my friends and family, competing against my hero in the final, is a very special moment for me and one I will remember for the rest of my life.”